• The Midwest has Always Been a Site of Black Political Activism

    by Ashley Howard

    Many Americans imagine the Midwest as a white space. But in both cities and towns, and even before the Great Migration, Black Midwesterners have organized and fought for political power, civil rights, and social respect. Contemporary protests are inheritors of this legacy. 

  • The Real Patriots Invaded the Nation’s Capital Fifty Years Ago

    by Elise Lemire

    On this Patriots’ Day, fifty years after a battalion of Vietnam veterans brought their anguish and their outrage to the Capitol Building, we are reminded of the idealistic threads connecting the militiamen of Lexington and Concord and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. 

  • Don't Erase Women's Leadership in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement

    by Robert Cohen

    Historians have yet to fully examine the role of women in leadership and at the grass roots of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Even some of the best and most insightful accounts of the FSM treat it as a movement of men and ignore the key roles of Jackie Goldberg, Bettina Aptheker and others. 

  • Policing, Protest, and the Role of the University

    by David S. Busch

    Student activists at Northwestern, in other words, are asking a similar question that emerged out of the 1960s and famous protest moments at Jackson State and Kent State in 1970: What should be the university’s public purpose?

  • #FreeSenegal Youth Protesters are Checking Power — and Not for the First Time

    by Burleigh Hendrickson

    Student-led protests in 1968 in Senegal led to democratizing reform and the diminishment of French influence over the former colony. Will youth-led activists today be able to influence a government viewed as prioritizing the needs of foreign businesses over its own population? 

  • The Campaign to Free the Wilmington 10 Holds the Key to Successful Activism Today

    by Kenneth Janken

    A campaign to free 10 racial justice protesters in 1972 worked because it connected the cause to the problems with police, poverty, and racism experienced by a broad cross section of the community, and "recognize[d] racism not as separate from history but as part of historical processes and political economy."

  • Must the Capitol Riots be Included in the Legacy of American Dissent?

    by Ralph Young

    Teachers of history might feel a disconnect between praising American traditions of dissent and condemning the Capitol riots. They shouldn't. Historical evaluation of the grievances of dissenters, whatever their methods, finds real grievances, not lies, at the root of dissent.

  • Politics, Protests, and Pandemics

    Historian Samuel K. Cohn, Jr. argues in a new book on epidemics and social upheaval that disease does not inevitably sow discord and hatred; they can be sources of unification. 

  • Barbara Dane’s Life of Defiance and Song

    Barbara Dane's left politics kept her from success in the music industry, but the label she founded released and preserved protest music from around the world, a legacy now being highlighted by the Smithsonian. 

  • Out of the Barrel of a Gun

    The resurgent militia movement and renewed attention to the threat of political violence compels a reckoning with the vast number of firearms in America and with the political significance of guns. 

  • Restoring Civil Society by Executive Order?: An Inaugural Reverie

    by John L. Godwin

    Joe Biden should defend the First Amendment right to peaceable assembly by a temporary emergency order criminalizing the carrying of firearms at public protest events and make clear that the threat of force is not part of the democratic process.